History of Science and Scientist Study

I have been pondering my need to increase the breadth of science I do with my children.  One, T11, shows a near obsession with it, and I do feel that I am somehow not providing enough learning opportunities in this area.  I have already posted about how I intend to have a Young Scientists at Play Lab for my preschoolers and how we will, as a family, do a year-long pond study of our village pond.  I have also posted about the introduction of Incr-Edible Science Labs especially for my eldest twin.  The fourth area of science I would like to include pertains to the history of science.

We will begin with a general study of the history of science, and will move more specifically onto the study of particular scientists and scientific theorems throughout the ages.  I am thinking of using our revisiting weeks to concentrate on this until we are up to the era we are currently studying.  Revisiting weeks for us are traditionally a time of going back to a period we have studied before and studying an area of it in greater depth.  This would mean, for example, we may revisit the Mayans and concentrate our studies for a week on Mayan astronomy, or we may revisit Ancient Greece and learn about Aristotle for a whole week, replicating, if possible, some of his experiments.  For the more general study of the history of science, I will probably squeeze this into a spare 30 minutes during a Monday (our science day).

Studying the history of science and scientists of the past has actually been a long time in coming.  I have been squirreling away resources for the last year or so, with the intention of possibly giving up Apologia altogether and focussing on the history of science, linking it up with our current history studies (the backbone of our school).  I’m not quite ready to give up Apologia altogether, and indeed may never be, but this seems to be a happy compromise for now!

The resources I intend to use for this are:

  • The Story of Science by Joy Hakim – A set of three books, we only have the first but will buy the others as required.  I will use these as a read aloud.  The first one is written beautifully so I know we will all enjoy its content.  I will read these each Monday:

  • Historia poster: Timeline of History of the World (scientific).  We have a pin board at the bottom of the stairs which I’ll pin this on.  The children will be looking at it numerous times throughout the day.

  • Milestones in Science (Thames and Cosmos).  We will probably use this for the study of specific scientists or discoveries during our revisiting weeks:

Gary and I saved for a long time to get this, but it looks perfect for what I have in mind

  • Readers Digest: The Adventure of Discoveries and Inventions- Gary’s parents bought this set for T11 Christmas and birthday present a couple of years ago.  He loves them, and I have always planned to use them for this purpose.  There are many books in the set spanning from the birth of time to present day.  We will use these during our revisiting weeks, when we need more information on a particular discovery or invention:

  • Eyewitness Great Scientists.  Again this will be used during our revisiting weeks when we study a particular scientist:

  • The Story of Science.  This is a fabulous DVD which the children will watch probably for half an hour on a Monday evening to cap off our day of science:

I quite like this website if I need further information.

Because this study will link science and history, I’m really quite excited!